By Justine Lister
The up and coming social enterprise business ‘supporting women who are rebuilding their lives after domestic abuse.’
Page & Bloom is a social enterprise business that supports and empowers women to gain independence, and have the freedom to flourish, after experiencing domestic abuse.
Social enterprises are businesses, like any other, that produce profits, but what sets them apart from other profit-making businesses, is what they do with their profits. With social enterprises, the profits are reinvested back into the business and then paid forward to drive positive social change in society. Yes, social enterprises are about making money, but not in a Scrooge-ian, self-centred, self-interested kind of way, to the contrary, through social enterprises, lives, communities and societies are changed positively and for the better.
For more information on social enterprises and how they work click here.
The aptly named ‘Rosie’ Oglesby, started her sustainable business Page & Bloom in 2018.
Rosie is no stranger to witnessing communities of people in the face of despair and adversity. Her previous work, within the charity sector, led her to become part of aid-giving agencies dealing with natural disasters across the world, and also working closer to home supporting some of the emergency food projects here in the UK.
Throughout the course of her work, she recognised an all-too-common thread amongst the people she was trying to help. Besides needing the essentials to survive shelter, food, clothes, Rosie observed that for so many women she encountered, domestic abuse was prevalent in their stories.
Having the utmost respect for the immediate response charities that provide immediate support to women in need, Rosie is keen to explain that Page & Bloom is a fully sustainable business and not a charity. Rosie noticed a gap in the support available to women after initial, emergency help had been deployed. The domestic abuse refuges and the charities can sweep in and get women to a place of safety, but it seems that, after that, there is a void in how women then move forward from that point. Women using the refuge services can find themselves in limbo and, although they are in a safer position, they also find themselves struggling to find that next step into regular employment to afford them and their families’ financial stability to be able to start again.
This is the very gap that Page & Bloom seek to bridge and support.
Through offering skills training, work experience and job opportunities, Page & Bloom enfranchise women with new and transferable skills that can not only open doors to reliable employment, but more importantly, build personal confidence, self-esteem, motivation, validation, and new social connections after a time of personal and emotional turbulence.
Having started this venture in 2018, Rosie found the pandemic a difficult challenge for Page & Bloom to navigate due to the widespread restrictions and uncertainties. However, with every problem there is a solution, and Rosie found that the pandemic had afforded her the opportunity to focus on the online branch to the business. Despite the difficulties she faced, Rosie is far more focused on the positives that have come out of the business.
When asking Rosie, what her highlights or favourite moments are so far, she struggles to keep her list brief. The launch of the business website that saw first purchases made, allowed her to see that the business was worthy and workable. The first time the business employed their first trainee was further proof to Rosie that Page & Bloom really was a business that afforded its employees personal growth and tangible, positive change to their futures.
“The time that we recruited our first trainee was definitely a moment to remember.”Rosie Oglesby
Evolution continues for Page & Bloom with new ideas being nurtured into fruition for the new year and we cannot wait to see what will happen next for this amazing business.
Here at AION, we are so proud to be able to champion and highlight the wonderful work of Rosie and her team at Page & Bloom. Please do take a look at their inspiring work and products here.
*images remain the property of Page & Bloom